Monday, October 31, 2011

Being the Change

This is the Halloween that I decide to stand in my truth.

I will not be handing out Halloween treats at the door.

My lights will be off.

I have become the old woman on the street that doesn't want anyone to bother her.


Honestly though, this decision has been years in the making.  And it's only now that I feel confident enough in my choice to actually pull it off.

Interesting huh?  It's just candy!  What's the big deal?

Like most things there is a ton of pressure put on people to go along with the status quo, spend your child's college education savings on over-processed treats filled with enough toxins that the children of the world will be spinning in and out of sugar induced control for days, weeks even MONTHS!

Not to mention the fear of having my house egged and my trees toilet papered.  Do kids still do that to the cheapos that don't hand out candy?

There are so many kids challenged by weight and food sensitivity issues.  Why are we still indulging in this 'tradition'?  And is there another way to continue with the fun of halloween without suppressing our immune systems at the same time?

I wonder how much money is made by these companies every year throughout the various holidays?

I bet it's enough money to feed an entire starving country! 

That same starving country that I heard Westerners were sending their candy too last year!!! 

Oh My God!!!  What are we thinking?

All of this has been swirling around in my mind over the past month.

And when my husband questioned my sanity last night with raised eyebrows and "you're REALLY  not handing out candy this year?"  I realized just how important this decision is for me.

It's time to BE the change I want to see in the world (and if not the world, at least in my house) and being the change means taking one small step in the direction of that change.  Even if the step is as small as not participating in the process of keeping our children stuck in their health challenges.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just an Observation

What if for one day you decided to just observe your life.  You know, stand off to the side of everything that is happening and simply watch it like a movie (or the Survivor series).

This thought has been coming up for me a lot lately.

Why not just observe what is happening instead of letting myself get sucked into the emotional drama of the situation?  Why not just let whatever is happening happen without placing a label of 'good' or 'bad' on top of it?

It's like taking the next step in your journey to 'go with the flow'. 

To be able to observe rather than judge takes the pressure and stress out of life.

And it may be easier said than done.  Especially for fellow drama junkies out there, but it is still definitely doable with a little practice and patience.

For instance.  Last week while I was taking some time to meditate I found my mind wandering (as usual) and I would quietly put the random crazy thoughts aside.  I did this over and over and over again until finally (after about an hour!) my mind just fell silent. 

It felt a little like putting cranky babies to sleep and then tip toeing around them so they didn't reawaken :)

Going with the flow and becoming the observer in your life takes the same calm, gentle commitment it does to send your thoughts away during meditation.

Imagine being able to connect with the moment that a simple, neutral situation (they are all simple & neutral by the way) becomes an emotion filled drama fit for the big screen.

This past week I had a couple of those simple, neutral situations come up and my mind wasted no time at all turning them into murder mysteries and high speed chases!  I didn't stop to question the labelling and judging until it was too late, they had already been developed and they were having an effect on my physical and mental well-being.

The truth is this happens to all of us, all the time.  Unless you are a monk sitting atop a mountain in total alonedom (like a kingdom but more alone, you get the picture) you are going to have drama and your mind is going to want to give you something to talk about around the water cooler at work tomorrow.

The trick is just becoming more aware of what this drama does to your body and your life.  Asking yourself "is this worth it?"  "what am I getting out of this drama?" may help you to realize that it's all a ridiculous ploy to create a worthwhile story that you will tell for days and days until something new comes along.

Today, I'm making a commitment to myself to become the observer more often.  I want to reduce the amount of tension my muscles are holding onto.  I want to reduce the amount of time I waste telling and retelling a story that if I think long and hard about it, has no content and expends a whole lot of energy for nothing.

It's time to remind myself that I am the captain of this ship and we'll be having no more of this mindless nonsense.

Feel free to join me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A New Friend

I've been looking for a volunteer opportunity for 2 years now.  I wanted something that fit my schedule, fit my personality and fit my purpose in life.

So, when I found a kijiji ad in June advertising for the Big Brothers Big Sisters In School Mentoring program I felt like I finally found what I was looking for.

The more I spent time learning about the program and learning how to be an in school mentor, the more excited about this program I got!

Granted, I didn't think one hour per week was all that big of a deal.  How much of an influence can you be in that small amount of time.

I was assured by the coordinators and by a friend of mine that one hour a week makes a huge difference in the life of a child who may not get any one on one time with a caring adult.  I guess I'd have to take their word for it.

It was all I could do not to go crazy waiting for 'the call'.  You know the one, where you are told who your match is and what school you'll be in and all the deets on the fabulous little person you'll be sharing one on one time with for the year (and maybe years). 

The feeling is not unlike waiting for a child to be born.  Will it be a girl or a boy?  The anticipation feels fun and even adventurous somehow.

I have been excited since day one of this experience, so this past Monday when I finally got to meet my match I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to make an impact in this child's life.

Would she like me?  Would she think my hair (or lack thereof) was strange?  Would she trade me in for a different mentor?   ACK!!!!

The good news.  I think she's gonna keep me!  We had a great first day, we colored pictures for eachother, I gave her a rock in the shape of a heart that I found on the beach during a trip to Erieau that she can keep in her pocket for 'good luck', we played 'TROUBLE' at which I totally sucked, even when she tried to fumble the game so I could win at least once, I still lost AND she loved that!  And I loved that too.  To see her smile and reassure me that I'll get better the more I play.

The truth?  She mentored me that morning.  She took me under her wing and befriended me.  And I left feeling elated, like I had gained a valuable new friend.

I can hardly wait until next week to do it all again. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Pinky Swear

Just before we were leaving for our last trip to the cottage I was feeling completely worn out.  I felt like I had been running on a hamster wheel and getting nowhere in life and in business.  I was at my wits end, frustrated and not gaining any clarity of which end was up.

As I sat on the dock overlooking the lake one bright sunny day, I contemplated why it was that I was feeling the way I was. 

What could I do to change my situation and bring the fun and excitement back into my life.

I sensed that I wasn't completely off track, that the fun, passion and excitement was still within reach but somehow I had just allowed something else to get in the way of me seeing it.

It was in that moment that I realized I had been controlling every move I made over the past few months.  And in that controlling space I was feeling more and more disconnected to the way I truly love to live.  The control didn't make me feel fulfilled or purposeful, it just made me feel frustrated and tired all of the time.

So in that moment I decided to shift my perspective, I wiped my tears from my face, took a deep breath and pinky swore to God that I would stop controlling everything and just let life happen.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  I pinky swore God....

I looked up at the sky, envisioned a large cloud hand coming down with it's pinky finger stuck out and I saw myself reach up to connect pinky's and affirmed that I was willing to relinquish control over to the one who knows what is best for me. 

FYI:  God LOVES pinky swearing!!!

Since I've been back I've had some amazing 'AHA' moments, creativity has been flowing like water from a tap and I'm feeling energized, renewed and on purpose.

I have had some moments of wanting to step into the control room again (it's habit, what can I say) and it's not long into that moment that God reminds me of my commitment.  He flashes that pinky swear  moment in my mind and I have no choice but to back off and allow life to unfold before my eyes.

Yep, God loves a good pinky swear.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If You Can't Trust Yourself.......

I woke up this morning with this thought in my head.

"If you can't trust yourself....who can you trust?"

I can't tell you how many times I have been questioned because I made a decision based on my gut instincts.  People don't like it when you trust yourself more than you trust them.

I've had even more moments where I've regretted NOT following my gut instincts and going along with the status quo.

This early morning thought got me digging a little deeper. 

For instance, how many people are out there walking around with no trust in themselves.  Who have no idea that their stomach is turning because it's trying to tell them something really important or that the reason why they get a massive headache everytime they are in certain situations is because they'd be better off avoiding such people, places and things.

My favourite are those that see a psychic every other month to get 'direction'. 

**disclaimer:  I am not, nor have I ever been against psychic readings, I love them, I have had 3 in my lifetime and they have all been amazingly accurate.  I think it's great that we can get some guidance when we are at our wits end and cannot seem to get our head on straight **

I view outsourced intuitive guidance as a road map to use when you are so lost you can't even find your way back to the main road.  To over use this service is to negate your own inner wisdom (that same wisdom that a psychic taps into when giving you your reading!)

So let me ask you this question.  If you don't trust yourself enough to ask yourself the tough questions, how much can you really trust that person across the table from you telling you that soon you will meet Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, get married and have 5 kids before May of 2013?


You're probably laughing right now, but this happens ALL the time!  And the part that is so frustrating is to watch someone you care for walk around living their lives based on what that intuitive told them would happen!  YIKES!

Wouldn't it feel better when at the end of the day you could say to yourself "hey, you listened to your gut instinct about that issue and look how great that turned out".  And wouldn't it feel even better if you weren't always questionning how life unfolds because it's not what the tarot cards told you?

I'm just saying....  If you are trusting someone else more than your trusting yourself then your in for some disappointing times.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Transformation is a sneaky bugger!

If you were to ask me how I got to where I am I wouldn't have an answer for you.

And to be even more honest, there are multiple days when I wish I would've written some of the stuff I've done down, so I could give someone a bit of a heads up.

But I didn't.  And I can't.

And while we're on the honest train, I don't really think that having written it down chronologically would have helped anyone anyway.  Transformation takes time.  And it happens in your own individual time, in your own individual way.

My transformation probably doesn't look like the next guys because it was made just for little old me.

I've tried over the years to rush my transformation.  There have been many times when I could feel something new coming around the bend and wanting it so badly and wishing that it would just hurry up and get here only to have it take FOREVER to arrive!

(don't you just love run on sentences)

I have an aversion to patience and so I am often found rushing my progress in business and personal relationships as well.  Just to end up totally spent with nothing more to give to anyone or anything.

I find lately that those moments of exhaustion are coming more and more quickly.  It used to take months to catch up to me and now it seems like all I need to do is spend a couple of hours giving too much of my energy to rushing something and I BAM I'm on the couch because my body refuses to move forward.

It hit me the other day as I contemplated how hard I have been pushing myself to 'get somewhere' that my path has already been laid for me.  This is a belief I have held for many years (though sometimes the screams of 'should' are louder than my beliefs).  That everything that I have ever experienced up until this point has prepared me for this moment, just as this moment will prepare me for the next (and so on, you get the picture).  So, is it really necessary for me to 'bust my nuts' over something?  Does it really matter whether or not my website is kickass or not?  Does it really matter that I have no idea where I am heading or where I will be in the next month or so? 

No.  None of it matters.

I look at my husband and his career.  He has seemingly effortlessly risen up the ladder of his profession, has earned the respect of his peers and is constantly being asked to take positions with other companies because they would love to have his expertise on their team!  All he has done (and I say 'all' as if it's not important, but it is really important) is be himself and embrace the passion he has for what he does.

So as far as transformation goes, I think it's a go with the flow kind of process.  That if you are resisting then your transformation is going to come along slowly, like walking through a muddy bog.  But if you are open and trust the flow and the pace at which life is handing you opportunities then things are going to come along nicely.  Maybe not as quickly as you would like (if you are allergic to patience like I am), but it will come along none the less, because it has to.  Life is designed to move, shift and change constantly. 

Unless you are chained to a brick wall your whole life you will transform and it will be amazing and one day when someone asks you how you got there you aren't gonna have an answer for them because transformation is sneaky that way :)

Releasing Responsibility

I want to share a quote I found recently.  This quote sums up how I pretty much feel about my parenting style.

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon them and to let them know that you trust them."  ~ Booker T. Washington

A few years ago you would have found me full of anxiety over my parenting skills. 

Back then I used to hang onto every little thing.  I had control over everything and I didn't give responsibility to anyone in my household.  No one could do laundry or dishes quite like I could.  I used to parent based on what others thought was best for my kids, not what I thought was best for them and I was always afraid of what someone might say if my kids weren't dressed just right!

No wonder I was in full panic mode most of the time!

This quote reminds me of our recent trip to the cottage.  Our older two sons (17 & 14) are both working and of course in school.  They weren't too keen on taking a trip and missing out on work opportunities (our oldest son has just started his first job and so didn't want to take time off) and so we opted to leave them behind. 

We opted to give them responsibility and trust them for the nine days that we would be away.

I was more emotional about not having them with me than I was about leaving them to their own devices for nine days.

They did great.  They got along well, they didn't starve and the house didn't burn down.  Their time without parental supervision was a success.  Who'd have thunk it?

What I would have missed as a parent had we not given them that opportunity, was to see just how responsible and capable they are.  Handing over responsibility to your child shows you just how well you have parented them up until this point.  It's like a parenting report card. 

If you are one of those parents who doesn't allow your child to do anything without your supervision, you are missing out big time!  Not only do you not know how well your child will cope in a situation where you are not with them to make their decisions for them, but you are missing an opportunity to show your child just how much you trust their judgement.  You are missing an opportunity to empower your child!

Ahem.  This goes for all you parents of adult children as well.

Granted you are not going to leave your eight year old home alone for nine days.  But there are things you can do for your younger children that will empower them.  It was always helpful in our house to let the boys dress themselves the way they like, pack their lunches the way they like and (as much as it pained my control freak ways) to let them do their chores the way they would like. 

Trust me, letting go a little bit now when your kids are younger makes it WAY easier to get into the passenger seat with them when they are working on getting their drivers license! 

So, do your kids a favour, heck do everyone in your life a favour; give over responsibility to those you have been withholding it from and then trust that all is well.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Verify the verification for me PLEASE!

Could someone PLEASE tell me what is the exact purpose of those 'word verifications' you get when you want to post a comment on a blog?

And why is it that when you type in what you think you see as that word, you get the error message that in fact that was not the word that was shown and you need to 'try again'.


How is one supposed to know that the small 'l' and the 'n' that were placed so closely together, were not in fact an 'h'?

And what about when they put those letters in cock-eyed positions?  Why would they do that? 

This has been something I've been wondering about for quite some time.  It's annoying (I'm clearly easily annoyed).

Maybe I'm dyslexic! 

What other explanation could there be for not getting those squished up, cock-eyed words right?

Or maybe the guy who makes up those stinking words is dyslexic and the company that hired him haven't noticed yet.

Yah, my money's on door #2.